A YouGov survey found that nearly two-thirds of women (61%) in the UK wake up feeling tired, regardless of sleep duration, compared to just half of men experiencing this tiredness.
In fact, 81% of women claim tiredness impacts daily activities with just 74% of men feeling these impacts. But why is there a difference between sexes and what can be done to overcome this overwhelming fatigue?
In celebration of Women’s Health Month this May, it’s time for the ladies to regain their energy and empower themselves to feel their best. Women are not just smaller versions of the male population, and sometimes extra steps may need to be taken to stay energised.
Research suggests that women may need more sleep than men, particularly if they are menstruating or during menopause. Evidently, women’s hormones can play a significant role in energy levels and how you feel throughout the month. Keeping track of where you are in your cycle can be useful to know when to power through and when it might be best to prioritise rest.
Speaking with consultant dietitian, Jenaed Brodell, the Pro Plus team provide five tips to help you maximise rest and enhance energy throughout the day:
1. Incorporate movement into your day
According to Jenaed: “Although exercise might seem counterproductive to energy levels, research shows that regular exercise can, in fact, improve fatigue. Along with a whole host of benefits including, releasing feel-good endorphins, regulating our stress response, and improving concentration. Find the form of exercise that you enjoy the most so you’re more likely to stick with it and reap all the benefits.”
2. Take time for yourself
As they say, you can’t give from an empty cup. Even when your outstanding to-do list might not leave time for rest, sometimes the most productive thing you can do is take some time out. This might be especially important just before and during menstruation (aka your period), as the drop in hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen can cause more tiredness than usual.
Jenaed suggested: “Spending even just 10 minutes in the morning to pause and take time for yourself is a great way to start your day feeling energised and grounded. Whether it’s meditation, journaling or perhaps reading a book, find what makes you feel your best.”
3. Create good sleep habits
There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning for hours yet you’re feeling exhausted, as experienced by half of women in the UK. Creating a calming sleep routine can make all the difference. Try to limit all screen usage for at least 30 minutes before bed, as well as avoid alcohol in the hours leading up to sleep.
“Our circadian rhythm loves routine, so keeping to the same sleeping schedule can help you feel more energised during the day and make you sleepy in the evening, preparing you for a deep and refreshing sleep, giving you a spring in your step the following morning”, noted Jenaed.
4. Use caffeine strategically
It’s no secret that caffeine is a lifesaver on those days when everything seems like a struggle. Experts suggest that consuming caffeine strategically may help you get the most out of it. Try to hold off your caffeine hit until right before your most important task of the day to achieve the hyperfocus when you need it most. Though, to ensure it doesn’t affect the quality of your sleep, try to keep your caffeination time earlier in the day.
Unknown to many, not all caffeine sources are the same. According to Jenaed: “Whether you struggle to get into gear in the morning or suffer from the dreaded mid-afternoon slump, caffeine can help to increase alertness and sharpen your mind. Caffeine is an incredibly well-researched performance enhancer with a greater effect when consumed in its ‘anhydrous’ or more concentrated state, such as a caffeine tablet, as compared to coffee. Research shows that caffeine can boost your productivity and performance at work.”
5. Eat to sleep
A healthy balanced diet is beneficial for overall health, and sleep is no exception. Certain nutrients such as magnesium and B vitamins are known to enhance sleep by regulating melatonin. Eating magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, or foods high in B vitamins such as fish, eggs and legumes, can help to increase your levels to support melatonin production.
The number of meals may also affect your energy, according to Jenaed; “Where energy is the issue, it’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day. This approach can reduce your perception of fatigue because your brain, which has very few energy reserves of its own, needs a steady supply of nutrients. Some people begin feeling sluggish after just a few hours without food, but it doesn’t take much to feed your brain, a piece of fruit with some yoghurt or a few nuts is adequate.”
Pro Plus Caffeine is a high-quality caffeine tablet that can relieve the symptoms of tiredness and fatigue, for a boost of energy to focus on the task at hand. With two Pro Plus Caffeine tablets providing 100mg of high-quality caffeine, the kick of caffeine can help you feel more awake. Available to purchase from supermarkets and pharmacies nationwide and online at Amazon.